I admired the author who spoke about her eight hour writing routine which is only interrupted when her husband brings lunch, afternoon tea, and the housekeeper comes in to say good-bye. That may not be fiction, but it certainly is fantasy as far as my life is concerned.
I suspect it’s fantasy for most of us who track the market, polish the proposal, peruse how-to books, write for cash, maintain daily word counts, update blogs, strive to meet contest or requested manuscript deadlines as dear hubby pokes his head in and says, “I have no clean clothes and, seriously, are we eating cold cuts again?” or #1 wife says, “Junior can’t find his way back from the sandbox. When are you cutting the lawn?”
How does anyone do all the things that a writer is supposed to do?
Well, don’t ask me, I was hoping you’d have some solutions. No, just kidding. It's an on-going dilemma and one I wrestled with for years. The answer depends on your own unique circumstances and placement on God’s path. In the meantime, here are three tips.
Everything does not have to be done now. We try to microwave our success when it should be more like preparing a luau: Build a deep pit, lay a good fire, prepare the food, lower the clay pot of goodies, cover it over and bake for hours and hours, then feast. Did you notice how many steps there were leading up to the feasting? They each build on the other otherwise you’d be eating raw, sandy food. There is a time for everything.
If you are spinning out of control, stop. Truly. Simply stop. The world will not fall apart, even if the kids are screaming bloody murder. You take time for absolutely everything else so make it a priority to stop and ask God what he wants to do with your life. Then plan small orderly steps to accomplish that.
Exercise those trust muscles. God is in control. If you believe that, than you can relax and simply ask God, “What am I to do this day?” In James 1:5 God invites you to ask him and is pleased to give you wisdom. If you are burning out, it’s sure that you are moving in your own strength for God will empower you to do what needs to be done, including caring for spouse, children, and the sick dog.
I’m interested. How do you manage all the things a writer must do? What tips do you have to add to these basic ideas?